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binge drinking

5/22/13 12:01pm

College Women Booze Harder Than Men

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"Leaning in"...to the booze? Photo via

College-age females are binge drinking more than their male peers, according to a new study from Harvard Medical School.According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, men should consume no more than four drinks a day, and max 14 drinks a week, whereas women should consume no more than three drinks per day and seven per week. The researchers asked 992 college students—417 men, and 575 women—to report their daily drinking habits twice a week, throughout their first year of college. They found the women were more likely than men to exceed their weekly alcohol limit, which researchers say could put women at a higher risk for health problems in the future.“Recommended drinking limits are lower for women than for men because research to date has found that women experience alcohol-related problems at lower levels of alcohol consumption than men,” says Harvard med student Bettina B. Hoeppner. “Weekly cut-offs are recommended to prevent long-term harmful effects due to alcohol, such as liver disease and breast cancer. By exceeding weekly limits more often than men, women are putting themselves at increased risk for experiencing such long-term effects.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this year that binge drinking is a "serious and under-recognized problem" among women and young girls, with the behavior often starting as early as high school.

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By Valerie Tejeda

high rollers

5/22/13 10:31am

Chief Keef Busted for "Rolling Marijuana" in Atlanta Hotel

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Chicago-born rapper Chief Keef Photo via

Rapper Chief Keef, 17, was arrested Monday afternoon at the high-end LeMeridan Hotel, north of Atlanta, for smoking weed in his hotel room. TMZ has released the recording of the "nerdiest 911 call ever," in which a panicky hotel security guy alerts the operator about "a bunch of gentlemen rolling marijuana and smoking...all in the room...the room's filled with smoke." In the recording, the guard expresses his shock that the weed rollers allowed him to enter the hotel room, despite their illicit activities. "I announced myself as 'security' and they let me in the room as if it doesn't even matter," he says. He also asks the operator to send authorities as quickly as possible, out of fear that "those guys may just bolt." Chief Keef, real name Keith Farrelle Cozart, was arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct for smoking pot. He was released Tueday morning, which he announced on Twitter: "Jus Got Out Of Dekalb County jail In Atlanta Mad As fuck [emoticons]". The Chicago native, whose debut album Finally Rich dropped last December, is known for rapping about violence and drug use in tracks like "Hate Bein' Sober." This isn't his first brush with the law; in March, he completed a 60-day sentence for violating his probation on a gun conviction earlier this year.

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By May Wilkerson

headlines

5/22/13 5:00am

Morning Roundup: May 22, 2013

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Will Mike Goodson's other charges be
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By Victoria Kim

drugs and babies

5/21/13 5:30pm

Video: This Is Your Baby on Drugs

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Drugging for two? Photo via

Drugs can mess any of us up. But for unborn babies, the effects of drug use can be especially nasty. The folks at 12 Palms Recovery Center in Florida have put together the latest "shocking statistics" in an in-depth motion-graphic video (below), laying out the facts of life for babies born to pregnant women who use alcohol and drugs. An estimated 150,000 babies are born each year in the US with birth defects—that's three out of every 100. And 4% of pregnant women use illicit drugs, which alone puts 176,200 unborn babies at risk of potential birth defects—many more, of course, are at risk from alcohol, tobacco or Rx drug use. Premature birth, brain damage, slow development, learning disabilities, HIV and obesity are all potential consequences. The video also illustrates which states have the highest rates of drug use during pregnancy (California and Texas), and how various substances—from meth to ecstasy to booze—can harm a baby.

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By May Wilkerson

natural high

5/21/13 4:38pm

Drug-Free Brad Pitt Is High on Life

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The old Brad Photo via

Brad Pitt made a "conscious" choice to quit drugs after he realized he was squandering his potential, he tells Esquire magazine. The 49-year-old actor says his drug of choice was pot, and though his use was mainly "recreational," he felt the drug was preventing him from reaching his potential. "For a long time I thought I did too much damage—drug damage," he explains. "I was a bit of a drifter. A guy who felt he grew up in something of a vacuum and wanted to see things, wanted to be inspired. I followed that other thing. I spent years fucking off. But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity." Pitt quit doing drugs about a decade ago after he had "an epiphany" and made "a decision not to squander my opportunities," he says. "It was a feeling of, 'Get up.' Because otherwise, what's the point?" The actor said last year that his marijuana use peaked in the '90s, when he was struggling to come to terms with his rapidly rising fame. "I was hiding out from the celebrity thing. I was smoking way too much dope," he said, "I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut and I got really irritated with myself." Nowadays, the father of six kids with partner Angelina Jolie says his personal and professional life is now at an all-time (natural) high. "I have very few friends. I have a handful of close friends and I have my family," he says, "I'm making things. I just haven't known life to be any happier."

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By McCarton Ackerman

medical marijuana

5/21/13 3:29pm

Chris Christie Iffy About Medical Pot for Minors

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Vivian Wilson, a 2-year-old registered MMJ
patient from New Jersey Photo via

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have approved medical marijuana, but he says he is "not inclined to allow" children to use the drug for medical purposes. "I'll have the health commissioner look at it, report back to me, but I don't want to mislead people either, I'm not inclined to allow them to have it," he said at a press conference on Monday. "[Christie's] simply concerned about the public policy implications of minors having access to legal marijuana," said Michael Drewniak, Christie's spokesman. "He views it as a slippery slope where we need to be very careful, though he understands where the regulations currently stand." The comments were a response to a question concerning Vivian Wilson, a toddler from Scotch Plains, NJ with a severe and rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Currently, patients under the age of 18 are allowed to participate in the state's medical marijuana program, but only with the approval of a pediatrician, a prescribing physician, and a psychiatrist. Vivian's parents, Brian and Meghan Wilson, are still seeking a psychiatrist's approval before they can get medical pot for their daughter, who they say cannot be helped with traditional medication. "People just don't like to hear about marijuana and kids," said Vivian's father. "It kills me when people say, 'Oh, we don't know the side effects and it kills brain cells.' Well, she's already killed brain cells on these [prescription] drugs. The seizure have killed brain cells."

Governor Christie has been accused of attempting to "sabotage" the state's medical marijuana program, but he said he is willing to move forward. "I want New Jersey to be a compassionate state," he said Monday, "and for people who this is your only option to get pain relief, for those who are terminally ill, [and] are chronically ill, we've authorized it." New Jersey is the 14th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but Christie has been cautious about ensuring that only the "truly sick and suffering" have access to legal marijuana. "I am not going to allow New Jersey to become a California or a Colorado where someone can fake a headache and get a bag of pot on every corner," he said. "So I'm very concerned, if we go down this slope of allowing minors to use this, where it ends."

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By Victoria Kim

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